Weak monsoon not a cause of worry: Pawar

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New Delhi, Jul 16 (ANI): Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said that weak monsoon showers in contrast to forecast of good rains will not significantly hurt crop output in India.

Pawar said this on the sidelines of a function at Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) in New Delhi on Friday.

He even reiterated that the weather outlook is encouraging.

Pawar said rainfall had been deficient in parts of Uttar Pradesh, the main cane-growing area, and some eastern region, but the India Meteorological Department was still optimistic about total rainfall.

"Whatever presentation is given to me and by other government ministry, by our met (meteorological department) department...met and their reports are still today are quite encouraging. They definitely briefed us about three weeks back that there will be gaps but there will be continuity after the gap," said Pawar.

He also noted that the 0.2 percentage point increase in food inflation is temporary as there is no rising trend in food prices.

"Inflation has not increased at all...it has increased by only 0.2 percent. It was 18-19 percent which has come down to 12 percent," observed Sharad Pawar.

He added to say a panel of ministers would consider imposing an import tax on wheat.

India has huge stocks of wheat, but some millers in coastal regions of southern India import high protein wheat from Australia, which works out cheaper for them because local taxes and high transit costs make domestic wheat from northern regions relatively costly. (ANI)

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